A Deep Dive Into Selenium Waits: Everything You Need To Know About Page Load

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In the realm of software testing, timing-related challenges are problematic. Some elements may take a while to load due to poor network speed. Further, modern applications use dynamic content which loads after the initial page load.

AJAX requests and other asynchronous processes can also present timing problems. These timing hiccups can cause tests to fail, leading to inaccuracies and frustration. So, automated tests must account for these variations, but how?

It is precisely where Selenium waits to come to your rescue. But hold on, the importance of Selenium waits doesn’t stop there. They not only help enhance the reliability of your automated tests. But it also reduces false positives and improves test stability.

So, let’s dive in to learn how Selenium testing services can supercharge your web automation efforts.

What Are The Waits In Selenium?

Selenium Waits are pivotal in executing test cases effectively. They operate within specific scripts that facilitate page load time. By introducing controlled pauses, they contribute to the stability of website pages. Further, they offer tailored waits options for different scenarios, ensuring the automation testing proceeds smoothly without encountering script failures.

Thus, Selenium Waits is a troubleshooting tool for page redirection. It refreshed the entire page to update page elements. Thus accommodating potential delays such as those caused by Ajax calls. Selenium Waits also helps navigate website pages through the navigate() command. Most testers prefer this because it emulates real-world scenarios. It allows users to move seamlessly through the pages and simulate browsing history.

Why Do We Care About Page Load In Selenium?

Web Development Strategies

In web development strategies, some deliberate choices are made to defer the loading of some aspects until the user reaches a specific point in their interaction. This approach poses a challenge for testing, mainly when dealing with JavaScript-enabled elements.

If these elements are intentionally hidden rather than generated by JavaScript during user interaction, Selenium scripts may locate them even before they become visible.

Slower Networks

It’s crucial to consider the real-world conditions where users access websites on their mobile devices. Often, they are on the move, and factors like geographical location and movement speed vary from user to user.

For instance, when a user moves slowly in a location with good network coverage, we can likely infer that the web page would load as expected. The difficulty is that user behavior in these circumstances is unpredictable.

Concerns About Delayed Acknowledgments

One critical aspect of web application design is the implementation of conditional elements and delayed acknowledgments. These elements come into play when a user’s action triggers a backend logic only reflected in the user interface (UI) when the action is completed.

For instance, consider the scenario of uploading a file. In such cases, the confirmation is often presented through a modal dialog. It only appears when the file is successfully uploaded or not uploaded due to external conditions. The timing of page load acknowledgments can vary based on the user’s network connection, making it challenging to set precise time limits.

Types Of Waits In Selenium

Implicit Waits In Selenium

An implicit waits is the fundamental form of waits in Selenium. With an implicit wait, we specify a duration for which we wish to waits for an element to appear. Once this designated time elapses, the automation proceeds to the next test automation step.

The term “implicit” is employed here because, once set, this time delay is “implicitly” applied to all elements throughout the automation script. Selenium offers three distinct commands under this implicit waits umbrella:

  • ImplicitlyWait()
  • PageLoadTimeout()
  • ScriptTimeout().

Depending on the specific testing scenario, these commands can implement implicit waits.

Explicit Waits In Selenium

While the term “implicit” in implicit waits implies a lack of explicit specification, Selenium introduces the concept of explicit waits to provide more precise control over waiting periods in test scripts. With explicit waits, the QA automation company defines explicitly when to pause the automation and for how long. It is achieved by specifying certain conditions Selenium provides as part of its library.

Explicit waits empower testers to pinpoint the exact moments and durations they want to waits for specific requirements to be met during test execution. This level of control makes explicit waits a valuable tool for ensuring that tests run smoothly and accurately under various scenarios.

Fluent Waits

Fluent wait is a more innovative way to wait for something in a computer program. Imagine using a computer and waiting for something to happen, like a webpage to load or an element to appear. Instead of waiting for a fixed amount of time (like 50 seconds), fluent wait lets you wait and check for that thing to happen at regular intervals.

So, fluent wait helps you be more efficient when waiting for things in a computer program by checking regularly until the condition you’re looking for is met.

Difference Between Implicit Waits Vs. Explicit Waits

FeatureImplicit WaitsExplicit Waits

Scope of Application It applies globally to all elements in the script without explicitly defining each element. It is defined explicitly by the user for individual elements or conditions in the script.
Use of “ExpectedConditions” It does not require the explicit specification of “ExpectedConditions” for the located elements. It often relies on “ExpectedConditions” to define the conditions that must be met before proceeding with the script.
Time Frame Specification It necessitates specifying a time frame for element visibility, clickability, or selection. It is more dynamic and adaptable, as it does not require such predefined time frame specifications, allowing it to waits for conditions to be met before moving forward.

Implicit Waits are global, less flexible, and require time frame specifications. At the same time, Explicit Waits are user-defined, more flexible, and rely on “ExpectedConditions” to determine when to proceed with the script.

How To Implement Selenium: Waits For The Page To Load?

Selenium Waits commands tell a test to stop for a predetermined time before continuing to the following scripted action. This pause allows the page to load fully. It ensures that web elements become visible, present, populated, or clickable before the WebDriver interacts with them and continues executing the test.

The significance of Waits commands lies in their ability to prevent Selenium from throwing an “Element Not Visible Exception” in cases where the required element cannot be immediately located for the test to proceed. By incorporating Waits commands, the test patiently waits for the element to become available, effectively averting the occurrence of this exception and ensuring a smoother test execution process.

Using Implicit Waits

The Implicit Waits is a directive for WebDriver to waits for a specific duration (e.g., 30 seconds) before proceeding to the next step in the script. Testers should employ the Implicit Waits when they know how long it takes for a web page and its elements to load.

For instance, if the website under test consistently takes ten seconds for a particular element to appear after loading a page, an Implicit Waits of 10 seconds can be set. When the test reaches this point, it will pause, and after the specified time elapses, WebDriver will resume executing the script as planned initially.

Here’s an example code snippet in Java:

WebDriver driver = new FirefoxDriver();

driver.manage().timeouts().implicitlyWait(10, TimeUnit.SECONDS);


WebElement myDynamicElement = driver.findElement(“myDynamicElement”));

This code applies an Implicit Waits of 10 seconds before attempting to locate the “myDynamicElement” on the website page.

Using Explicit Waits

Explicit Waits is a more advanced technique that directs WebDriver to pause a test until a specific condition is met.

Imagine that the test website has a function that shows a pop-up after the user enters some information. Testing this feature requires a precise sequence of steps, including user input, server response time, and pop-up appearance.

In this situation, Explicit Waits can be used to delay starting the test until the pop-up appears. To prevent the test from running endlessly.

Here’s a code example using Selenium for Explicit Waits:

From selenium import webdriver

from import By

from import WebDriverWait

from selenium. import expected_conditions as EC

driver = webdriver.Firefox()

driver.get(“”) # Replace with the actual website URL


elem = WebDriverWait(driver, 30).until(

EC.presence_of_element_located((By.ID, “Element_to_be_found”)) # Replace with the actual element identifier




In this code, an Explicit Waits with a timeout of 30 seconds is applied to waits for the specified element located on the page load. The test continues or quits once the condition is met or the timeout is reached.

Using Fluent Waits

Fluent Wait is like a smart way to make your computer program wait for something specific to happen on a webpage. Here’s how you can use it:

First, you declare and set up a Fluent Wait like this:

  • FluentWait wait = new FluentWait(driver);

This tells your program that you want to use Fluent Wait with the “driver” (which is like the web browser you’re controlling).

Then, you specify how long you’re willing to wait for something to happen. You’re saying you’re willing to wait for up to 5 seconds:

  • wait.withTimeout(5000, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS);

your program won’t wait longer than 5 seconds.

Next, you tell your program how often to check for the thing you’re waiting for page load. In your case, you’re checking every 250 milliseconds (a quarter of a second):

  • wait.pollingEvery(250, TimeUnit.MILLISECONDS);

This means your program will keep looking for the condition every 250 milliseconds.

You can also specify what kinds of problems to ignore while waiting. In your example, you’re telling it to ignore “NoSuchElementException” errors, which can happen if the element you’re looking for doesn’t exist yet:

  • wait.ignoring(NoSuchElementException.class)

Finally, you specify the condition you’re waiting for. In your example, you’re waiting for an alert to be present:

  • wait.until(ExpectedConditions.alertIsPresent());

This means your program will keep checking for the alert until it’s present or until the 5-second timeout is reached.

So, Fluent Wait helps your program wait for something on a webpage smartly and efficiently by setting a timeout, checking at regular intervals, and ignoring specific errors.

Cloud Applications Of Selenium Waits

Many testers opt for cloud-based services when performing automation testing for their projects, particularly those designed to complement Selenium. One such popular cloud-based testing solution is LambdaTest, known for its robust cross-platform browser testing capabilities.

Imagine running a cloud-based Selenium Grid like LambdaTest and encountering a rapid timeout issue while executing a complex test suite. In this scenario, you can pause the WebDriver for 90 seconds, which can also be set as the default time limit. This approach helps prevent timeout errors, ensuring your automation script runs successfully in a cloud-based environment.

Final Thoughts

Selenium Waits allows users to craft more reliable scripts with fewer dependencies. You can choose the specific type of waits that best aligns with your business goals and the objectives behind your Selenium automation companies. It’s important to note that excluding Selenium Waits in your application should be avoided.

In earlier versions of Selenium, threads were used, but Waits have replaced them. Selenium Waits provides dynamic testing methods and an optimal testing environment when paired with platforms like JUnit or other testing frameworks.

Selenium Waits plays a crucial role in ensuring the success of automation testing companies under cloud-based environments, offering testers the flexibility to fine-tune their scripts for reliability and efficiency.

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Co-Founder & Director, Business Management
AutomationQA is a leading automation research company. We believe in sharing knowledge and increasing awareness, and to contribute to this cause, we try to include all the latest changes, news, and fresh content from the automation world into our blogs.

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